Feast of Music's Mixed Bag

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Peter Matthews is the founder of Feast of Music, a blog covering live music in New York City that, as the site states, "strives to give equal voice to all kinds of music" – from Williamsburg indie rock to orchestral shows at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. That democratic approach to music is apparent in his Mixtape, which juxtaposes Animal Collective and John Coltrane with David Lang and Bela Bartok.

A Mixed Bag by Peter Matthews

When I was invited to contribute a playlist to Mixtapes, my initial reaction was: "Only an hour?" How can anyone come close to surveying the breadth and depth of music of the past century in just 60 minutes? Should I focus on large orchestral works, or small-scale chamber music? Do I leave out longer works just because they up too much time? Should living composers take precedence over those who aren't around anymore?

At the end of the day, I just decided to put together a list of tracks that I like. Some of this music I've known for a very long time; others I've just discovered recently. Some of it is quiet, some not. And, not all of it fits neatly into the category of "classical music." But there is somewhere in each of them a thread that ties them back to the "flow," so to speak.

I wish I could go into detail as to why I chose each of these tracks, but limited space will only allow me to say that I can tie all of this music back to a significant moment in my life. As any good mixtape should be able to do.


Gyorgy Ligeti - Lux Aeterna
Nico Muhly - Bright Mass with Canons: Sanctus 
Olivier Messiaen - La Nativite du Seigneur: Les Anges 
Todd Reynolds - Fast Pasture
Animal Collective - #1
Buke & Gass - Your Face Left Before You 
Beirut - Port of Call 
David Lang - memory pieces: wed 
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme: Resolution 
Bela Bartok - String Quartet No. 5: Andante 
John Adams - Dharma at Big Sur: Sri Moonshine